Sudbury rapper Mickey O’Brien dropped his newest album, “Shift Change,” on April 22. This is O’Brien’s second full-length album.
Produced by Fresh Kills, the album dips into the O’Brien’s roots.
The artist told Sudbury.com that over the duration of the pandemic, he had relapsed on his addiction and is back on the road of recovery.
The rapper has often touched on topics of addiction and recovery in his music – and while the album doesn’t entirely focus on relapse and recovery — it does tell a story about a pivotal shift in mentality and self-growth
“My art is a reflection of my surroundings,” O’Brien told Sudbury.com in a phone interview.
“I'm a blue collar worker that struggles with real world problems. We struggled to pay bills, addiction issues, family issues, normal real world things that people go through. I'm not out here talking about gangbang and stuff like. That's not my reality.”
O’Brien said the new album is a reflection of his life and the pandemic and how these two years transformed him.
“I was really doing a lot of self-reflecting throughout the pandemic, because we were forced to, right,” he said. “Kind of sit in our own shit. So the record is about self transformation. And it was everything I was going through in my journey of recovery at the time.”
The album itself is laced with a variety of different artists and elements of musical instruments.
A “live sax player, Zachary Clement from Sudbury, came in and he totally destroyed with some keyboards and organs,” O’Brien said naming one of the instruments featured in the album. O’Brien also brought on a harmonica player, drums set and a guitar player as well. He also invited other artists to be on board with his album.
“I really went all in on the production on this one with Fresh Kills. We brought a lot of our like musical family as far as MCs on it. And a big female presence on the record,” O’Brien said.
These are the confirmed dates for O’Brien’s tour across the country:
May 4 Toronto @ the piston
May 6 Vancouver @ Lana Lou’s
May 7 Squamish @ The Goat
May 13 Nanaimo @ Queens
May 14 Victoria @ TBA
June 2 Halifax @ The Local
June 3 Fredericton @ Living Roots Music Festival
June 4 Saint John @ Five and Dime
July 8-9 Sudbury @ Northern Lights Festival
August 10 Sudbury @ Bell Park Amphitheatre